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Clinical presentation of patients with suspected obstructive sleep apnea and self-reported physician-diagnosed asthma in the ESADA cohort

Journal article
Authors M. R. Bonsignore
J. L. Pepin
U. Anttalainen
S. E. Schiza
O. K. Basoglu
A. Pataka
P. Steiropoulos
Z. Dogas
Ludger Grote
Jan A Hedner
W. T. McNicholas
O. Marrone
Grp Esada Study
Published in Journal of Sleep Research
Volume 27
Issue 6
ISSN 0962-1105
Publication year 2018
Published at Institute of Medicine
Language en
Keywords epidemiology, gender, obesity, sleep-disordered breathing, quality-of-life, nocturnal gastroesophageal-reflux, general-population, lung-disease, risk, symptoms, associations, inflammation, obese, overdiagnosis, Neurosciences & Neurology
Subject categories Neuroscience


Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and asthma are often associated and several studies suggest a bidirectional relationship between asthma and OSA. This study analyzed the characteristics of patients with suspected OSA from the European Sleep Apnea Database according to presence/absence of physician-diagnosed asthma. Cross-sectional data in 16,236 patients (29.1% female) referred for suspected OSA were analyzed according to occurrence of physician-diagnosed asthma for anthropometrics, OSA severity and sleepiness. Sleep structure was assessed in patients studied by polysomnography (i.e. 48% of the sample). The prevalence of physician-diagnosed asthma in the entire cohort was 4.8% (7.9% in women, 3.7% in men, p < 0.0001), and decreased from subjects without OSA to patients with mild-moderate and severe OSA (p = 0.02). Obesity was highly prevalent in asthmatic women, whereas BMI distribution was similar in men with and without physician-diagnosed asthma. Distribution of OSA severity was similar in patients with and without physician-diagnosed asthma, and unaffected by treatment for asthma or gastroesophageal reflux. Asthma was associated with poor sleep quality and sleepiness. Physician-diagnosed asthma was less common in a sleep clinic population than expected from the results of studies in the general population. Obesity appears as the major factor raising suspicion of OSA in asthmatic women, whereas complaints of poor sleep quality were the likely reason for referral in asthmatic men.

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